Modi government forms panel to make 'more effective and transparent' MSP

The panel, headed by former agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal, will have 26 members including farmer representatives, agri-scientists and Agri economists as well as government officials.

Published: 19th July 2022 11:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2022 11:03 AM   |  A+A-


Repreentational Image. (File | PTI)


NEW DELHI: The government has notified a committee to make a "more effective and transparent" Minimum Support Price (MSP), eight months after it promised to set up such a panel while withdrawing the three contentious farm laws.

The panel, headed by former agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal, will have 26 members including farmer representatives, agri-scientists and Agri economists as well as officials from central and state governments, a notification issued by the Ministry of Agriculture said.

The committee has announced the names of the representatives of other farmer organisations but not mentioned the names of representatives of Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) which spearheaded the one-year-long agitation at Delhi borders and forced the government to withdraw the farm laws.

While announcing the repeal of three farm laws in November last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to set up a committee to discuss the farmers' demand for a legal guarantee on MSP.

The notification mentions three members from SKM to be part of the panel but "names to be added on receipt".

"Space has been left for including three members from SKM in the panel. In the name of farmer leaders, the government has put its five loyalists who advocated the three farm bills," SKM leader Yogendra Yadav said in a statement issued late last night.

The other farm leaders included in the panel are "either directly associated with BJP, RSS or support their policy," he alleged.

Yadav also said there is no mention of "making a law on MSP" in the agenda of the committee.

Other than representatives from SKM, the committee will have National award-winning farmer Bharat Bhushan Tyagi as well as five members from other farmer organisations such as Gunwant Patil, Krishnaveer Choudhary, Pramod Kumar Choudhary, Guni Prakash and Sayyed Pasha Patel.

The panel will also comprise Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand, agri-economists CSC Shekhar from Indian Institute of Economic Development and Sukhpal Singh from IIM- Ahmedabad and Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) senior member Naveen P Singh.

Two members of the farmers' cooperative and group include IFFCO Chairman Dilip Sanghani and CNRI General Secretary Binod Anand are also part of the committee.

Senior members of agricultural universities, five central government secretaries and chief secretaries of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha are also part of the committee.

According to the notification, the committee will look at ways to make available MSP to farmers by making the system "more effective and transparent."

It will also suggest the practicality of giving more autonomy to CACP that fixes the MSP of Agri crops, and measures to make it more scientific.

Further, the panel will look at ways to strengthen the Agricultural Marketing System as per the changing requirements of the country to ensure higher value to the farmers through remunerative prices of their produce by taking advantage of the domestic and export opportunities.

Besides MSP, the committee will look at ways to promote natural farming, crop diversification, and micro-irrigation scheme and suggest strategies for making Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and other Research and Development institutions as knowledge centres.


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